Dear Resident,

I was going to start this newsletter with a comment about the balmy summer and early autumnal weather but for obviously different reasons this edition will begin in a totally different manner.

It is with great and personal regret I have to inform you of the sad news that our president, Ken Bearcroft passed away, on Wednesday 26 September. Although Ken hadn’t been in the greatest of health, it came as a great shock to learn of his passing. I could easily fill this newsletter with information solely devoted to Ken. His contribution to this association, to Baiter Park, Whitecliff and the wider local community has been immense.

Ken was a founder member of Parkstone Bay Association, so his membership has been for at least four decades. I have personally relied a great deal on Ken for his unique knowledge of local politics, the local environment and local feelings. Obviously, there are some issues that frankly ‘bore’ me but Ken was always willing to look into situations that needed a more-depth insight. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he was always prepared to turn up for council cabinet and committee meetings at which he would often be the only member of public in attendance!

Ken was a person of total integrity, a man of principle and who would ‘stand his ground’ on items in which he felt strongly. At committee meetings Ken would have a say on every standing item and would be listened to with great respect (even if members didn’t always agree with his content) as his contribution(s) were always well-thought out.

Every issue that arose, I always used Ken as a sounding board. Now he won’t be with us, I will use my experiences with Ken as a means of reflection and use that as a means towards any decisions that have to be made.

I have received messages of condolence from several councillors and I would like to include a section written by Cllr Stribley:

‘We will all miss Ken as a tireless campaigner for the local area…whilst we were not always in agreement I could always respect his integrity and point of view’

Finally, I would like to thank Ken’s wife, Liz and the family for making us so very welcome for innumerable meetings at their house. It can’t have been easy giving up your lounge to so many (and at times not so many) committee members. You have been a tower of strength to Ken and like us will miss him very much, but in different ways.
I hope we will be able to make some fitting and lasting tribute to Ken, after first discussing this with Liz and her family. I will also leave that Ken is our President for this edition of the newsletter as he certainly was when I began to write it.

I hope you‘ve all made good usage of the balmy summer weather and enjoyed events and activities that are commensurate with Dorset summers. I also hope we can look forward to pleasant autumn days ahead…but not sure how pleasant they will be for our borough and indeed our localities insofar as there are uncertainties ahead. For example, there may be new election boundaries formed, forthcoming local elections in May 2019, probable amalgamation between Devon, Dorset and Cornwall police (although that now seems to be in some doubt) and the outcome of Poole Local Plan that will impact on many areas of Poole.

Mike Randall (Chair Parkstone Bay Association)